Shanta Durga Temple
|Shree ShantaDurga Saunsthan|
|Sanskrit transliteration||Śhāntādurgā Mandir|
|Important festivals||Magh Shuddha Panchmi (Jatrautsav), Navaratri.|
|History and governance|
|Date built||16th century|
H.H.Shrimad Swamiji of ShriKavale Math is Spiritual head Of Shree Shantadurga Saunsthan,Kavale.
Shree Shantadurga is the Kuldevi (family deity) of many Goud Saraswat Brahmin families.
This current temple structure of Shree Shantadurga devi was built during the period from 1713 a.d to 1738 AD.On the 4th of December 2016, the temple completed its 450th year of existence. (Margashirsh Shuddh Panchmi).
The temple is dedicated to Shantadurga, the goddess who mediates between Vishnu and Shiva. The deity is also called 'Santeri' colloquially. Purana talks of a battle between Shiva and Vishnu The battle was so fierce that the God Brahma prayed to Goddess Parvati to intervene, which she did in the form of Shantadurga. Shantadurga placed Vishnu on her right hand and Shiva on her left hand and settled the fight.
Shantadurga is shown as holding two serpents, one in each hand, representing Vishnu and Shiva.
Some of local legends or beliefs often say that Shantadurga of Keloshi had gone to Sankhwal, a village in Salcette Taluka to kill a demon named Kalantak that was harassing the Brahmins. As a reward, she was given the name of Vijaya. The Vijayadurga shrine was located in Sankhwal along with Shantadurga and Lakshmi Narasimha but was later shifted to a place called Kerim in Ponda Taluka during the Portuguese invasions.
The original temple at Quelossim (Keloshi) in Salsete was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1566. The goddess was shifted to Kavalem and worship was continued there. The site on which the original Temple of Shantadurga stood at Quelossim (Keloshi) is known as "Deoolbhata" and it is in the possession of the Shree Shantadurga Saunsthan Committee,Kavale.
The current temple was constructed during the reign of Maratha ruler Chattrapati Shahu of Satara in about 1738 A.D. Naroram Rege Mantri originally from Kochara village in the Vengurla Taluka,(Konkan) was a Mantri (Minister) in Shahu's Court at Satara (Grandson of Shivaji Maharaj)around 1723. He obtained finances to construct the new temple for the goddess from Shahu Maharaj of Satara. The temple construction started around 1730 . Due to his efforts, the village of Kavalem was bequeathed to the Temple by Shahu in 1739.
The temple complex is on the slope of the foothills of a mountain chain, surrounded by lush vegetation. There is a main temple and three smaller temples of other deities which have been built on three sides of the temple. The temple consists of a collection of pyramidal roofs with a dome. The pillars and floors are made of Kashmir stone. The temple has a huge tank, a Deepastambha and agrashalas (guest houses).
Many renovations have been completed over the years to the main temple and the temples of the other deities as well as to the agrashala. The temple has recently banned entry of foreigners into the temple citing objectionable dressing and conduct as the reason. 
Its pyramidical shape 'shikaras' rising on the roofs of the facade (entrance hall) and the 'Sabhamandap' (the main hall), its roman-arched windows, some of which have the stained-glass window panes of deep red, yellow, blue, green colours, its chandeliers, its gate posts, balustraded flat dome, the maroon-peach-white colour paint of the temple gives the temple a serene beautiful look.
The highlight of the temple is its golden palanquin (palkhi) in which the deity is carried on festive occasions(only 5 Mahapanchmi).
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The Deepa Stambha of the temple
- "Shri Shantadurga Temple, Kavalem". Retrieved 2006-09-21.
- "Shree Shantadurga Devi , Kavlem , Phonda, Goa - Official Website". Retrieved 2006-09-21.
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